AUSTIN (KXAN) — Cosmetology schools and salons now play a critical role in guiding human trafficking survivors to the right places.
A new law that took effect Thursday, Feb. 1 requires salons and schools to display a sign with information about available resources and services to anyone who is a trafficking victim. The sign was created by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR).
“I think its a really good opportunity for us to help people in situations that they might not otherwise feel comfortable talking about,” Laura Anderson said.
Anderson, who owns The Salon at the Domain, said this is a way they can help customers and clients.
“Usually clients are more like family and so we share together and help people get through things, get them in contact with the right people, which is what we try to do anyway as a society, as hairdressers,” Anderson said.
A spokesperson from TDLR said their agency is currently educating licensees on this new requirement. If a salon or school doesn’t have the sign posted, TDLR will give them one to display, on the first inspection. After that, if the licensee still doesn’t have the sign up, there could be a possible fine. The information on the sign includes a reminder to call 911 as well as the national hotline to get help.
Anderson said it’s critical their industry play a role in the statewide effort to combat human trafficking.
“Texas is so close to the border and I know a lot of human trafficking goes through there,” she said. “I think it’s really a great idea to have more people be aware of it, to maybe ask more questions and just keep your eye out for suspicious activity.”
She plans on putting multiple signs up in their salon so people have the information in all areas of their business.
“We will do anything in our power to help them,” she said.TDLR has made the sign available for licensees to download.